HC Deb 08 December 1958 vol 597 cc24-5
30. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Minister of Health what was the cause of the delay by the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board in replying to his request, made over nine months ago, for further information concerning the proposed new out-patients' department at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham; whether he has yet made a further request for a reply; and when he expects to announce the authorisation of this urgently required new building.

Mr. R. Thompson

It has been necessary for the board to consider this scheme in relation to other hospital facilities in Birmingham, including two other major schemes under consideration: during this time its headquarters medical staff has been severely depleted. The Ministry's officers have been in touch with the Board on several occasions about this scheme. I cannot yet say when sketch plans will he approved.

Mr. Yates

Is it not unreasonable that the Ministry should permit a delay of over nine months considering plans for an out-patients' department which has been approved in principle for some years and which was officially approved two years ago? Is not this delay quite intolerable?

Mr. Thompson

As I have said, there are good reasons for it. The Board's establishment of headquarters medical staff is five. From December, 1957, to June, 1958, there were only two. Another two took up their duties on 26th September and 1st October, respectively.